Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo (Ewuare II), yesterday said Benin artefacts were carted away in an unacceptable manner by the Europeans in 1877.
This is as the monarch charged the Chairman and members of the newly inaugurated Governing Council of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma to correct the wrongs in the University with regard to teaching and learning.
However, the Benin monarch spoke while answering question from a correspondent of the British Broadcasting Service (BBC), Zeinab Badawi, who was in the palace with her crew to collect information and materials for the production of a documentary on African history.
Oba Ewuare II said the Palace and the people are very proud of their heritage, especially the artefacts, pointing out that the Palace has embarked on convincing those in possession of the artefact to return it so that it could be used to equip the Oba Palace Museum.
He expressed satisfaction that some countries have agreed to return some of the artefacts, and called on the BBC correspondent to use his profession to further mount campaign for the return of the art works.
The Oba of Benin said the interesting thing is that through these stolen art works, the name of Benin Empire has been spread all over the world.
Oba Ewuare II told the BBC correspondent that the guild of Benin Bronze Casters that produces the art works are still alive and would be encouraged to produce more.
Earlier, Badawi told the monarch that she was in the Palace for the production of a documentary on African history.
She said the project is about Africa, and that Africans should be able to tell their own history better, as African history has been denigrated by foreigners who had written about it.
Meanwhile, the Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Ewuare II who gave the charge when he received the Chairman and members of the council in his Palace commended Governor Godwin Obaseki for reconstituting the council, which the Omo N’Oba said is made up of men and women of proven integrity and capabilities.
The Benin monarch harped on the need for the Governing Council to direct both students and staff for better performance, so that they can leave the school better than they met it.
He expresses concern over the increasing cases of cultism, examination malpractices in the institution and advised the chairman and members of the Governing Council to also tackle the problems of sexual harassment of female students by lecturers as well as misconducts by students.
The Oba of Benin assured the chairman and members of the Governing Council of Ambrose Alli University of the Palace support at all times.
Earlier, the Chairman and Pro-Chancellor of the Governing Council of Ambrose Alli University, Chief Lawson Omokhodion said they were in the Palace to receive royal blessings to enable them succeed in the task before them.